|Photo credit: Ram Trucks|
But as a cyclist, these long-armed extensions scare me. Unlike a dump truck or large delivery vehicle where mirrors are positioned higher out of cyclist's direct path, these are right at eye level. If you travel country roads like I do, these vehicles take up a whole lane. To be fair, drivers are generally cautious, especially when towing a trailer full of animals. And at slow speeds, to not upset cargo. They wait behind me until it's safe to pass. Besides, any extra space taken up by side mirrors is negated by an even wider trailer.
|Photo credit: etrailer|
|Photo credit: Online Towing Guide|
There is one particular red truck and trailer combo that always passes uncomfortably close and has become my nemesis. It's a good thing they drive fairly slow. I expect them and usually pull over or make sure and hold a straight line until they're safely by. I've thought of calling the company (it's large with numerous vehicles), but by the time I remember the license plate number and get to a phone I've forgotten.
That's why I'm thankful that I'm armed with my own rear view mirror. And while I can't always be super diligent—continually focusing behind could lead me to veer too far to the left or right, creating another kind of danger—I can listen for approaching vehicles, glance in my mirror, and take necessary precautions. In the city where traffic noise is a constant, this technique is not as useful. For my commute, it could save my life.